41st Parliament, 1st Session
June 2, 2011 -
About this Committee
The House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence is a permanent committee established by the Standing Orders of the House of Commons, the written rules under which the House of Commons regulates its proceedings. It is mandated to review all matters pertaining to the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces. It may examine and report on matters referred to it by the House of Commons or it may undertake studies on its own initiative. Generally it examines relevant legislation, the activities and expenditures of the department, and the effectiveness of the department’s policies and programs.
The National Defence Act established the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces – Army, Navy and Air force – as two separate entities operating in close cooperation under the authority of the Minister of National Defence. National Defence Headquarters is a “combined” headquarters consisting of both military and civilian personnel. The Standing Committee on National Defence is responsible for reviewing the performance and policies of both elements.
When examining legislation or undertaking a particular study, the Committee may hear from a variety of witnesses including the Minister, relevant departmental and Canadian Forces personnel, academics, subject matter specialists, stakeholders, Ministers and officials from other departments, and members of the public at large.
Order in Council Appointments, whereby individuals are appointed to certain senior posts within the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces, are referred to the Committee after they have been tabled in the House of Commons. Within thirty sitting days of this referral, the Committee may choose to examine the qualifications and competence of these appointees in relation to the posts to which they have been appointed.
For procedural information regarding the mandate and power of committees please consult the relevant section in the Compendium of House of Commons Procedure.